Monday, January 20, 2014

Quote of the Day

I highlight the following quote because it aptly addresses that commentary sometimes heard wherein white people will sometimes say, "Whatever, I don't even see race" in response to a person of color pointing out racism, or when a heterosexual will fume, "Why do we even have to know that person's sexual orientation? Can't they just keep it to themselves?" in response to a famous person revealing that he or she is gay or bisexual, or when bigots everywhere are like, "That's just a buncha identity politics" whenever marginalized individuals organize themselves around a common shared oppression.

Says Julia Serano, from her latest book, Excluded:
"When we attempt to compel minority and marginalized groups to relinquish their identity labels, our concern is entirely misplaced, as the tendency toward homogenization lies not with the marginalized group's choice of labels, but with the projecting of stereotypes onto the group in the first place. To this point, I could choose to reject the labels 'transexual,' 'bisexual," or 'woman' if I wanted, but that would not stop other people from perceiving, stereotyping, or marginalizing me for being these very things. The only thing that abandoning these identity labels would accomplish is making it more difficult for me to talk about the marginalization I face at the hands of the dominant majority."

People who aren't fans of so-called "identity politics" also often aren't fans of equality, dignity, and characterizing people fairly and in accordance with reality.  Their desire to rid the world of "identity politics" is often, when we scratch beyond the surface, a desire to rid the marginalized of an important tool to talk about and counter our oppression.

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